bit of explanation: This story is set on a large tree that is
growing off an asteroid (a dyson tree) and is so large that there is
some degree of gravitational pull. Humans live inside small (by
comparison to the tree - still huge) sealed pods called tufts which
contain entire ecosystems and semi-plant life that absorbs energy from
the tree and produce oxygen. Locations are described in terms of
degrees around the tree from a specific large tuft called Landing. How
Humans got there and how they govern themselves is for me to know and
for you to figure out from the story.
By Sakura Kangen. Please Email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback.
Do not release this commercially without permission. Do not publish this anywhere without first consulting me.
Kash looked at Ai carefully.
"We placed the Avatar under your care, and you say he has escaped!?" she shouted, her eyes flashing angrily.
God looked silently on, his ghostly hologram filling the hallway behind her.
Ai knelt to Kash and bowed deeply.
"I beg forgiveness. There is no excuse for this."
"It seems this project of yours was unsuccessful." God's voice boomed.
Kash spun around and bowed to her God. "Yes, Lord. Shall I execute this one?"
"It is sacrilege to execute Philosophers. Submit him to cleansing."
Ai looked up, straight at God's face, "No! To the philosopher, all must be made known!" He shouted, remembering the Philosopher's Edict, "Cleansing too is sacrilege!"
God waved his hand dismissively, "Do not question me any further." He turned to Kash. "Do as I have ordered."
Immediately, Ai was gagged and began to be taken away by two masked men, that he had not noticed before. He tried to shout through the gag, but all that came out were muffled yelps.
Ai came to with feeling of being slapped in the face - perhaps because he had just been slapped in the face by a very worried looking Kom.
"God?" Ai asked weakly, realizing that he was kneeling down.
Kom slapped him again.
"For the last time, I'm not God!" Kom shouted.
Ai blinked a few times and looked around at the dimly lit hallway he was inside. "Ugh, Kom? What just happened? Why am I in a hallway?"
Kom snorted. "You tell me. I was just coming back from lunch and you hurl yourself on the ground in front of me, and start begging me not to be 'cleansed' or something.."
Ai smiled weakly, stood up, and brushed himself off. He began walking back to the council chamber, "What are you talking about?" he said, "Cleansing was deemed to be sacreligious by God hundreds of years ago."
Ai looked over through the dim light at Kom's blank, incomprehending expression and said, "I brought The Histories with me, they will explain..."
Their conversation was interrupted by a large panting man running up towards them, "There you are.." he said between breaths.
Kom couldn't make out who the man was in the dim light, and so he said, "Identify yourself, Citizen." attempting to put on his best authoritative voice.
"Citizen Par, Wise One."
Kom's eyes immediately bulged in anger as he reacted to the name. "You!" he shouted, but Ai immediately restrained him.
"You weren't executed, after all." Ai whispered in Kom's ear, "Do not seek revenge."
Ai took a few steps forward and spoke to Par, "Why were you looking for us?"
Par, still heaving and panting, knelt down and placed his forehead on the ground in a traditional kowtow.
"I beg forgiveness!" he shouted.
Kom opened his mouth to speak, but Ai cut in straight away. "Apology accepted. Come to the council chamber with us, I want to discuss this with you."
Par looked up momentarily, somewhat confused by what Ai said, but then bowed again, "My wish is as yours, Wise One."
Kom suppressed his scowl and followed Ai into the hallway.
Kash spoke to God in the great hall of Landing.
"It seems that the Avatar and the Guardian have wound up in the same tuft." came the familiar booming voice.
Kash tentatively spoke up, "Shall I have one of them transferred, Lord?"
"There is no reason to transfer them, however there is a non-negligible risk that their cleansing will be undone. If that happens, we will be forced to execute them both."
Kash bowed deeply before responding, "My Lord, forgive my impertinence, but would it not be a great sacrilege to murder the Avatar?"
God did not speak for a moment, but then replied, "In future, do not be so impertinent to your God. These events would have not occurred had you not ordered the revival of the Avatar. If the cleansing is undone, that would be disastrous. It must not be allowed to happen, at any cost."
Kash bowed deeply, "My wish is as yours, Lord."